Blog: Congressional Gold Medalist Honored at Miss California Pageant

Congressional Gold Medal - Miss California Crown: Sgt. Beal recognized for integration of United States Marine Corps during WWII, then saw his granddaughter Monet Bagneris compete for Miss California.

Last Saturday evening in Fresno, California, Montford Point Marine, Marion Meredith Beal, was honored for receiving the Congressional Gold Medal (the nation's highest civilian award) at the Miss California pageant where his granddaughter, Monet Bagneris of Monrovia, competed for the title of Miss California.  Former World War II Sergeant and Chief Clerk Meredith Beal was voted "Honor Man" by his Platoon at Montford Point, a facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and later was the first enlisted black man to perform duty at the United States Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of being one of the first to integrate the United States Marine Corps.

Monet, the daughter of Dr. Jules S. Bagneris, III., and Michele Beal Bagneris, Esq. (former Monrovia City Attorney and current Pasadena City Attorney/City Prosecutor), won the pageant's talent award for outstanding performance in her singing and playing of Alicia Keys' hit song "If I Ain't Got You."  Monet Bagneris, Miss Los Angeles County 2012 for the Miss America Organization, is a University of Southern California graduate in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies, and her pageant platform is "Their Life, Your Hands: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles for our Children."  In 2010, Monet was awarded the title of "Miss Congeniality" at the Miss California competition for having the "heart and spirit of Miss America."

Monet looks forward to continuing her service as Miss Los Angeles County and is available to be booked for singing and speaking at special occasions, birthday celebrations, and fundraisers to name a few.  Monet can be contacted at monetbagneris.com.

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Tom Adams July 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Jules, I know you and Michele are very proud and rightfully so!
Dr. Jules S. Bagneris, III. July 07, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Tom: Yes, I am certainly the proud father! Lol. If I were wearing a suit, my buttons would be popping off! I am also very proud of my father-in-law, Marion Meredith Beal, who travelled over 3,200 air and car miles (Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Fresno) after attending two tiring days of ceremonies honoring him with the Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a Montford Point Marine (one of the first to integrate the United States Marine Corps during World War II) to see his granddaughter receive the Talent Award while competing for Miss California. Dad Beal made everyone in attendance proud because he is a living legend and a worthy role model. Some use their military service as a shield to defend against bad behavior and poor morals. Dad Beal simply walks the walk of a marine.... Semper Fidelis! (Always Faithful). Dad Beal is a Christian who loves his family, church, community, and country. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the church pastor and civil rights leader, looked forward to the day when people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. The standing ovation and rousing applause given to him by the people who acknowledged his achievement at the Fresno Convention Center is an indication that the dream is becoming a reality. Similarly, it is public servants like you who make us all proud regardless of color for the way you stand up and speak out for what is right in the face of an entrenched opposition. Thanks!


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